By The Numbers: Women Making Bank

Elizabeth Taylor in 'Cleopatra,' 1963 (Eclipse Magazine)

Elizabeth Taylor in ‘Cleopatra,’ 1963 (Eclipse Magazine)

Earlier this week, Ellen Pompeo became the highest-paid TV actress currently on TV, making $20M a year. How’d she do it? She asked for it. Also, she knew her worth.

Who else has made bank while breaking the glass ceiling? Let’s take a look!

First Female Millionaire:

Madam C.J. Walker built a beauty empire and had a net worth of $600K at the time of her death. Adjusted for inflation, that’s that’s $8,757,479.29 in November 2017 money.

First Female Billionaire:

Lifestyle entrepreneur Martha Stewart became a billionaire in 2000, the year after her company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia went public.

First Black Female Billionaire:

Be honest: you thought this would be Oprah, didn’t you? So did I…until I actually googled it. No, this honor goes to Sheila Johnson. Johnson co-founded BET with her ex-husband Bob Johnson and went on to work in hospitality and real estate, and own minority stakes in three sports teams. Johnson first made the “Forbes” Billionaire List in 2000.

First Film Actress to be Paid $1M for a Role:

This would be the incomparable Elizabeth Taylor, who played the titular role in “Cleopatra” in 1963.

Highest-Paid Actress of 2017:

Emma Stone made the “Forbes” 2017 list of highest paid actors and actresses at $26M. However, she’s the highest-ranking actress at #15.

 

 

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#ThrowbackThursday: Eartha Kitt as Catwoman in “Batman,” 1967

Eartha Kitt as Catwoman (Pinterest)

Eartha Kitt as Catwoman (Pinterest)

Many people know Julie Newmar as Catwoman in the 1960s TV series “Batman,” but there was a second Catwoman as well! Actress and singer Eartha Kitt took over the role in 1967. Kitt was already famous by this time, having danced with the Katherine Dunham Company, recorded several songs and had been acting for many years.

Kitt played Catwoman from 1967 to 1968. Not bad for a woman Orson Welles called “the most exciting woman on Earth.”

Ellen Pompeo is the Highest-Paid TV Actress at $20M a Year

Ellen Pompeo in 'Grey's Anatomy' (Today)

Ellen Pompeo in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (Today)

Actress Ellen Pompeo has played the titular role in “Grey’s Anatomy” since 2004. And she’s finally making bank for it.

Pompeo is earning $575K per episode (!!), to the tune of $20M per year (!!!). She could also bring in another $6-7M with backend deals. Pompeo is now the highest-paid actress on TV.

Congrats to Ellen! May we all have the courage to go after what we’re worth!

Google Trends: “Black Panther”

Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong'o in 'Black Panther' (Geeks of Doom)

Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong’o in ‘Black Panther’ (Geeks of Doom)

As you may have heard, “Black Panther” comes out in less than a month (!!!). Tickets went on sale a little over a week ago, and Fandango has already reported that the movie’s pre-sales have set a new record for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), beating previous record-holder “Captain America: Civil War.”

I was curious to see how Google was affected by this record. Let’s take a look!

First, here’s a general search for “black panther” over the last 12 months:

Google Trends: 'black panther' search term over the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Google Trends: ‘black panther’ search term over the past 12 months (Google Trends)

See that spike in June? The movie’s teaser trailer dropped on Jan. 9, and received 89M views within its first 24 hours. And you can see the spike at the end within the last few weeks.

How many people searched for “black panther tickets?”

Google Trends: 'black panther tickets' from the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Google Trends: ‘black panther tickets’ from the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Check out that spike!! Everyone wanted in (no surprise, because this movie looks AMAZING!).

Since Fandango reported the new record, let’s see what the trend for searching “black panther fandango” looks like:

Google Trends: 'black panther fandango' search term for the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Google Trends: ‘black panther fandango’ search term for the past 12 months (Google Trends)

Once again, we see a drastic spike with the last week. One interesting thing is that while the search term “black panther tickets” projected a drop in the search term for the current week (see second graph), the search phrase that includes Fandango does not.

One thing is clear: The excitement surrounding this movie is definitely affecting search, so make sure that SEO is on point!

“Black Panther” Sets Fandango Record for Marvel Pre-Sales

Chadwick Boseman in 'Black Panther' (Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki)

Chadwick Boseman in ‘Black Panther’ (Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki)

Seriously, who *isn’t* eagerly awaiting “Black Panther” to drop?! If you know anyone that’s not, tell them to get right!!

The latest proof comes from ticket website Fandango, which opened ticket sales to the latest entry to Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) a week ago. Twenty-four hours later, “Black Panther” had set a new record for advance ticket pre-sales for a Marvel movie. Sadly, no numbers were given to back up this claim (because you know I’d love to see them!).

The film is clearly benefitting from broader awareness: Sales began after a national TV spot aired during the College Football Playoff National Championship. A recent Fandango survey of 8K moviegoers revealed that “Black Panther” is the second-most anticipated film of the year. It ranks below another MCU entry “Avengers: Infinity War.” Many of the “Black Panther” characters will appear in “Infinity War.” Titular star Chadwick Boseman was also voted the “most anticipated comic book hero in a standalone movie.”

This pre-sale record may or may not indicate how well “Black Panther” will do when it opens next month. According to entertainment industry trade “Deadline,” estimates not affiliated with the movie are predicting an opening weekend take of $80-85M, and maybe scaling up to $100M. But then “Captain America: Civil War” (the previous Fandango pre-sales record holder for the MCU) made $179M in its opening weekend, and went out to gross $1.15B (!) around the world.

“Black Panther” opens on Feb. 16, 2018, and stars Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, and Angela Bassett.

Trends: Calling Out Pay Disparity

Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb of 'Today' (ET Online)

Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb of ‘Today’ (ET Online)

Earlier this week, word got out that Michelle Williams got paid a per diem for quickly reshooting scenes for “All the Money in the World” ahead of its release. That per diem amounted to $80 per diem, totaling less than $1,000. Her costar Mark Wahlberg, on the other hand, was paid a whopping $1.5M for the reshoots.

As USA Today notes, “that works out to Williams being paid less than one-tenth of 1% of her male co-star.” Isn’t that crazy?! In light of this revelation, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is investigating the matter to see if any rules were violated during the making of the film.

This isn’t the first time men and women have faced a pay disparity. Far from it. But now, calling out pay disparity has become a public way to shame companies for making their employees feel undervalued.

This has been happening several times in news. After “Today” host Matt Lauer was fired, it was reported that Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie would take over as co-hosts. Kotb and Guthrie would each be paid $7M, with their combined salaries making $14M. Later was making $25M, making the difference between his salary and those of his two co-hosts $11M.

Last month, E! Entertainment host Catt Sadler left her job of 12 years, because she was paid half as much as her male co-host Jason Kennedy. Her departure did not go unnoticed: Actresses Debra Messing, Laura Dern, and Eva Longoria confronted this year’s Golden Globes red carpet pre-show hosts Guiliana Rancic and Ryan Seacrest over the issue.

Awareness of pay disparity has also spread around the world. Former BBC News editor Carrie Gracie quit her position earlier this month once she learned that she had been severely underpaid throughout her career.

The pay disparity problem has also crossed racial lines. “Hawaii Five-O” stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park each left the series last year due to pay disparity between themselves and their white costars. Though the two had been with the show since 2010, their respective raises were still 10-15% lower than those of their white costars.

It’s excellent that pay disparities are finally coming to light! Let’s hope they spur some lasting changes toward equality.

#ThrowbackThursday: Madame C.J. Walker, America’s First Female Millionaire

Madame C.J. Walker (Biography)

Madame C.J. Walker (Biography)

If you don’t know who Madame C.J. Walker is, get on that! The former Sarah Breedlove worked as a laundress and a singer before developing her own line of hair care products.  Walker eventually extended her product line into a beauty school and trained hairdressers in her products and specific methods. Through Walker’s entrepreneurship, she taught other black women how to run their own businesses and become financially independent.

By the time Madame C.J. Walker died at age 51, she’d become the first female millionaire, and a self-made one at that. Her net worth at the time of her death in 1919 was $600,000. Adjusted for inflation, that’s $8,757,479.29 in November 2017 money.